Editorial Comment: For better relationships

Service users wrote and edited this week’s feature sections. Why? Because we hoped that they would provide some important messages.

We weren’t disappointed. Our contributors express some powerful – and challenging – opinions, showing a growing appetite for more choice and control in their lives and lending support to the government’s drive towards self-directed care. Their stories – ranging from the horrors of children’s homes and long-stay hospitals to the independence of nightclubbing, sporting endeavour and starting a family – show how they’re becoming active citizens.

But, it comes at a price. Our service users repeatedly question their relationship with social workers. They’re either drowning in paperwork, overly cautious or absent. People are being assessed and referred effectively enough, but it is those who also provide emotional support that transform lives.

As personalisation advances, it’s going to be vital for social workers to retain an empathetic and trusting relationship with service users. This must feature prominently within the GSCC’s submission to government on the roles and tasks of social workers. And, it’s good to see CWDC piloting redesigned teams that maximise contact between children and practitioners. We must empower service users without dehumanising the role of social workers.

Related article
Service User Special

Contact the author
Mike Broad


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.